Frequently Asked Questions

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    When do I apply for financial aid?

    We encourage new students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available on October 1. Our priority FAFSA filing date is March 31. We will begin distribution of aid offers to new students in mid-December, and the earlier the FAFSA​ is filed, the sooner the offer can be processed.

    The FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA must be filed every year to receive financial assistance.

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    What forms are needed to apply for Financial Aid?

    For federal student aid (Pell Grant, William D. Ford Direct Loans, Work-Study, and Parent PLUS Loans), one must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FASFA is also used to determine eligibility for North Carolina state financial aid.

    Need help filling out the FAFSA? The application has built in help, but you can also contact Federal Student Aid at 1.800.433.3243 (1.800.4.FED.AID) for assistance.

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    How do I file the FAFSA?

    File your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. You will need FSA ID numbers for the student and for one parent in order to sign electronically. Apply for a FSA ID
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    What types of financial assistance are covered by the FAFSA application?

    All forms of federal aid, including Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loan and Work-Study are covered. In addition, the state of North Carolina uses the FAFSA as a means of determining eligibility for the North Carolina Need-based Scholarship. The results of the FAFSA are also used to determine eligibility for any institutional need-based grants.
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    What is the Federal Title IV college code for Lees-McRae College?

    The college code is 002939.
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    What do I do with a Student Aid Report (SAR) or Electronic Student Aid Report (ESAR)?

    Keep your SAR or ESAR for your records. Please read and review it. If you included Lees-McRae College (Title IV school code # 002939) on your FAFSA, the Office of Financial Aid will receive your application information electronically.
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    Is there an income level cutoff above which certain families are not eligible for financial assistance?

    Financial aid eligibility is dependent upon income of household, size of household, number in college, assets of household, and cost of attendance. Dependent upon the combination of these factors, income level may not have the greatest impact on determining aid eligibility. Additionally, no-need households are eligible for unsubsidized loan options and must go through the formal FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA application process.
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    Can students receive institutional, state, or federal assistance in excess of the Cost of Attendance (COA)?

    Regulations associated with institutional, state, and federal assistance programs prohibit students from exceeding the cost of attendance while still receiving any of these three assistance resources.
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    Does the United States Department of Education use a standard formula established by Congress to determine a family’s ability to contribute to a student’s education? Does this Expected Family Contribution (EFC) remain constant regardless of the institution the student will be attending?

    Yes. While the student’s eligibility for assistance may vary from institution to institution as tied to cost or other factors, the ability of the family to contribute to the education remains constant.
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    At what point should I begin to look into what financial assistance is available to me?

    Students should begin researching financial assistance sources as early as possible. You may start filling out applications in your senior year in high school. 
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    Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial assistance at a particular college?

    No. You may apply for financial assistance any time after January 1. To receive a financial aid offer, however, you must be admitted to the college. Apply to Lees-McRae College.

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    Does Lees-McRae College have an additional institutional aid application that must be completed?

    No.
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    How does Lees-McRae receive my FAFSA information?

    It normally takes 48–72 hours from the time you have successfully submitted your FAFSA before the information is available to the Office of Financial Aid.
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    What is verification?

    Verification is a review process in which the Office of Financial Aid determines the accuracy of various data elements reported by the student/parent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 30 percent of all aid applicants for verification. During the verification process the student and parent will be required to submit additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid they are entitled to receive and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid they are not entitled to receive.
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    What is the difference between the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Student Accounts?

    These two offices, although located in different places on campus, both provide financial services assistance. The Office of Financial Aid processes scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. The Office of Student Accounts processes tuition bills, collects payments, and handles inquiries regarding the third-party tuition payment plan.
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    What kinds of financial aid will Lees-McRae provide?

    In addition to any federal or state financial assistance that a student is eligible for, the College provides both merit and need-based aid for students. Merit scholarships are awarded on the basis of achievement rather than need, and students must demonstrate a high level performance in academics, athletics or performing arts. Need-based aid is based on demonstrated need as calculated by the FAFSA.
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    Is academic merit-based assistance at Lees-McRae awarded by the Office of Financial Aid?

    The Office of Admission determines eligibility for academic merit-based scholarships or assistance available through Lees-McRae.
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    Does Lees-McRae award athletic scholarships?

    Yes, as a Division II NCAA institution, Lees-McRae does offer athletic scholarships in amounts determined by the head coaches and then awarded through the Office of Financial Aid.
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    Do I have to report an address change to the Office of Financial Aid?

    Yes. All changes made to your address or name need to be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. Students must also report their address change to the Office of the Registrar.
Special Situations
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    Are there alternatives if my parents have been denied a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)?

    A student whose parents have been denied a PLUS loan may pursue alternatives such as additional student borrowing under the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
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    If my parents are separated or divorced, whose income should be reported?

    The student must report the income of the parent with whom he/she has resided the majority of the time over the past 12 months. If this is equal, the student should report the income of the parent who provided more than 50 percent of the support needed to maintain the student.
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    If I have a step-parent in the household, must their income be reported on the FAFSA?

    Yes. Dependent students are required to provide step-parent income as the household upon which the student depends is maintained by the combined income of the natural parent and step-parent.
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    What financial assistance issues arise when taking time off from school?

    There are several things to keep in mind if you are on financial assistance and want to take time off. Currently, the Stafford Loan grace period is six months. This means that if you take six months off, your grace period is up, and your first loan payment will be due as soon as you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment. If you plan to take a year off, your grace period is up, and your first loan payment will be due in the middle of the year. The Perkins Loan has a grace period of nine months, and is handled similarly.

    You may request that your grace period be extended, but it is important to take care of this before taking a leave of absence. A grace period cannot be extended after it has expired.

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    If I transfer to another college, does my financial assistance go with me?

    No. If a current Lees-McRae student is transferring to another college, the student must apply for financial assistance at the college to which they are transferring. The student must resubmit the FAFSA and add the Federal Title IV school code of the new school. 
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    Is financial assistance available for the summer term?

    Yes, but only if a student is enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) and has not exhausted their loan eligibility during the past academic year. All students who wish to receive financial assistance for the summer term must complete a Summer School Financial Aid Application (available March 1 via the Office of Financial Aid website) in addition to filing the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA for the current academic year.
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    Can I get assistance to study abroad?

    Yes. Federal financial aid (Pell grant and student loans) and North Carolina state aid can be awarded for study abroad. You must complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility as usual. Lees-McRae institutional grants and scholarships do not apply to study abroad programs.
Loans
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    What is the difference between a Subsidized Stafford Loan and an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

    If you have a Subsidized Stafford Loan you are eligible to have your interest paid by the Federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time. If you have an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan you are responsible for the interest that accrues while you are enrolled. You may either pay the interest or let the interest capitalize and pay after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time.
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    What Stafford Loan amounts can I expect to receive as a dependent undergraduate?

    Freshman: $5,500 ($3,500 max Sub)
    Sophomore: $6,500 ($4,500 max Sub)
    Junior: $7,500 ($5,500 max Sub)
    Senior: $7,500 ($5,500 max Sub)
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    What is an Entrance Interview/Entrance Counseling?

    The Entrance Interview is a required counseling session for ALL first-time student loan borrowers. The counseling session requirement can be met at StudentLoans.gov. The session helps put student loan borrowing in perspective and helps determine a realistic amount to borrow. Lees-McRae is notified electronically when students complete the counseling.
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    What is an Exit Interview/Exit Counseling?

    Exit counseling is provided by the Office of Financial Aid concerning federally funded loans that students received during enrollment. The interview is conducted at StudentLoans.gov. This is a graduation requirement, and is also required before a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.